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What Would Janet Do?

My sister taught me many things ... including how to sew ... and as I made new drapes for my son's room remodel I think she would have approved of my choice of painter's drop cloth as fabric ...

Any time I find myself making curtains, I think of my sister Janet.

You see, Janet was the penultimate seamstress.  Meticulous attention to detail.  Perfectly straight seam lines.  She knew all the technical sewing lingo and skills …

Like what cutting on the bias means …

… and what bias tape is really used for …

… and how to make button holes.

She also never, ever bought department store drapes.  Instead she studied their construction and went home and made her own.  Only better.

Janet was the person who taught me how to make balloon shades.  Together, we made four for my very first apartment; she and her husband came over and helped me iron those folds and folds and folds of fabric and hang them.

When it comes to sewing, I’m a poor woman’s Janet.  My projects entail a lot of guesswork and fudging and improvisation …

So when I tackled the drapes for my son’s room remodel, I was wishing Janet was still here so I could ask her what to do.

Like, what did she think about me making them out of canvas painter’s drop cloth …

I’m pretty sure she would’ve told me that I could make two 48" x 90" panels out of one 4’ x 15’ package – therefore I should pick up two to cover the two windows in Sam’s room.

And I’m pretty sure she would tell me to wash them first.  Yes, I’m positive that’s what Janet would do.  So I did too.

And when I cut that 4 x 15 panel in half, I’m thinking Janet would know this handy tip of just snipping and ripping that drop cloth with my bare hands into a perfectly straight line …

And that band on top?  I know Janet would approve of my solution to sidestep possible uneven seams by attaching thick ribbed orange ribbon to the top …

… and then again where the panel and the drop cloth materials meet …

… and then top-stitching right over that ribbon with orange thread …

And I know I was channeling Janet when I realized the bottom seam should get a band of ribbon too …

The final step, when the panels and ribbons were all attached, was to fold over even seams on the sides and stitch, trim, and press …

In the end, I think Janet would’ve approved of what I did …

I wrote this post with a box of tissues by my side.  My beautiful sister Janet lost her decades-long breast cancer battle on August 21, 2006.  

 

Linda is a wife, mother, Chicago homeowner … and creator and author of it all started with paint blog.  You can find the detailed tutorial on how she made her drop cloth curtains by clicking here

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Stephanie Price June 29, 2012 at 03:02 PM
Box of Kleenex indeed! Very sad....but also nice that you always remember your sister when you're doing your projects.
Linda Braden June 30, 2012 at 10:50 PM
Thanks Stephanie! She really did teach me so much ...
dontbitetheapple July 03, 2012 at 01:47 PM
So much of what we do comes from those who we have lost. What a gift she gave you that every time you sew you think of her and know what she would do. I bet she loved your curtains and your story!
Linda Braden July 03, 2012 at 02:21 PM
Thank you so much for reaching out and leaving a comment. Your thoughts are so greatly appreciated ... and it's true ... I can't thread a needle or push the pedal on the sewing machine without thinking of her. Linda

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